China Mobile is reportedly planning to commence metro TD-LTE trials in up to six cities; Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen and Xiamen. Various reports suggest the world’s largest operator has deployed 3,000 base stations and is waiting for approval by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). China Mobile has had a TD-LTE trial network (supplied by a number of major vendors) in place for the last six months at the Shanghai Expo, although the event closed last week.
In August the operator noted in a financial statement that it plans “multiple city field tests after the successful network demonstration at Shanghai World Expo” and expects “most manufacturers” to launch their first TD-LTE chipsets in the first half of 2011. All eyes will be on China Mobile’s TD-LTE efforts, as the technology is fast becoming an alternative to WiMAX in markets where certain spectrum was initially earmarked for WiMAX services (eg India). China Mobile has previously said it is eager to see TD-LTE succeed overseas, with intention to team up with foreign operators to establish trial TD-LTE networks.